David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

This shot, for Paul McCartney and Wings' fan club magazine was the start of some of the most enjoyable work of my professional life. McCartney's PR Tony Brainsby booked me for the job at Twickenham Studiuos where they were shooting the video for 'Mull of Kintyre'. This was the beginning of a couple of years shooting stuff for McCartney. I was thrilled to get the job. My day to day working life was often working with stars but McCartney is more than just a star, isn't he?

I duly went along to Twickenham Studios and met Paul and Linda on the set. I must have listened to the playback of the song 50 times over the next couple of days. I spent down time chatting with Paul and Linda who were friendly and relaxed. And, of course, since they were paying me, helpful and cooperative with any ideas I had and that they liked.

Denny was very different from them, there was always mischief in his eyes. He was a bad bugger, really, smashing up Ferraris and all but great fun to be around. Playing poker with Denny, when he's drunk is one of life's funny experiences. In his haze he'd go 'I'll raise it And then pick up a handful of his money from the floor beside him and toss it onto the pot. 'Denny, that's not £20, that's more like £200'. 'Oh, all right. Raise it £200 then', he'd slur. It was magnificent but it wasn't poker.

As with any video shoot, the single is played over and over again for change of camera angles and all the other reasons that the shooting takes forever. Stars of this video were not only Wings but also The Campbeltown Pipe Band (see the video here).

What you don't see is that each take the pipers having passed the camera position and out of shot they would go round behind the set ready to emerge again through the mist. Each time, they would refresh themselves from the crates of McKewans they'd placed at the back of the set. By the 12th take, the 12th time they'd marched through the on set mist, heather and stream they had had a few, to say the least. As they stepped past the camera, there was a small step down from the stage to the studio floor. The inevitable happened. One of the lead pipers tripped. The others, by now less, ahem!, alert than they had been in previous run throughs, marched on. Tripping over the man in front. A sea of waving arms, kilts, legs and sporrans ensued.

It was great start to one of the most professionally satisfying parts of my life.